Federal appeals court to consider Mississippi abortion law today

Published 9:06 am Monday, October 7, 2019

Three judges from a conservative federal appeals court are set to hear arguments over a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

After Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law in 2018, the state’s only abortion clinic immediately sued and U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves blocked the law from taking effect.

Reeves wrote that it “unequivocally” violates women’s constitutional rights because it bans abortion weeks before viability.

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A panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is hearing arguments Monday. The court handles cases from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

Louisiana passed a 15-week abortion ban in 2018, but it becomes law only if a federal court upholds the Mississippi law.

The Mississippi clinic says it does abortions through 16 weeks of pregnancy.